Carey billed to headline Jazz & Blues Fest in JA

For the very first time in her storied musical career, pop superstar Mariah Carey will travel south to perform in the Caribbean. The date has been set, the destination agreed and the best-selling female artist of all time will be making her first-ever appearance in the Caribbean on the island of Jamaica.

The announcement was made last week that she will headline the 19th annual Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival in January.

“Welcoming Mariah Carey to Jamaica’s shores is truly exciting and we are extremely pleased to announce this iconic star as our headline act for 2015,” Walter Elmore, festival producer said. The producer announced the dates from Jan. 29-31 to be significant because the tradition of the festival is to continue “creating memorable musical experiences.”

“We are the only festival in the Western Hemisphere to present Mariah Carey since her last tour in 2006,” he explained.

Adding: “her agreeing to perform on our stage is a testament to the quality of our production.”

Slated for a performance at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium on the north coast of the island, her signing is being considered a major triumph for the popular annual music festival which has grown from a mere audience of 2,000 when it was created to encourage visitors to go to Jamaica during a traditionally slow tourism period in November to the now reported crowds of 35,000 since Elmore’s Turnkey Productions took over the helm in 2004 from its past airline owners and operators.

Allegedly, Carey is excited and anxious to debut in the region.

She reportedly joked with purposeful patois emphasis saying: “I can’t wait to connect with my Jamaican fans and I am really looking forward to spending some time pon de island as well.”

“I’m thrilled to be performing in Jamaica for the first time ever,” Carey said.

Although Jamaica is regarded as the reggae capital of the world, the island also boasts a diverse array of radio stations devoted to rhythm and blues, hip-hop, gospel, jazz and pop music. Carey was first introduced to the world as an r&b artist. She ventured to the hip-hop genre, excelled in the pop arena and with Christmas albums and classic recordings she has conquered a variety of styles and forms adding new audiences at every turn.

She has reportedly sold more than 200 million records.

To her credit her recordings registered 18 Billboard Hot 100 Number 1 singles to distinguish herself from her colleagues as the only solo artist in history to achieve that feat.

Along with her distinctive five-octave vocal range, acclaimed prolific songwriting and producing skills, Carey has defined the modern multi-format performer.

She has won five Grammy Awards; 21 American Music Awards, 31 Billboard Magazine awards as well as their Artist of the Decade Award, nine World Music Awards, 2014 Pop Icon and Artist with Most Number 1 Singles in America Awards and ranked number two on the list of 100 Greatest Women in Music.

For her outstanding achievements in songwriting, Carey also claimed BMI’s Icon Award.

Revered as a multi-platinum artist, her early years recalls the Long Island youth honing her talent at an early age.

A self-titled debut in 1990 launched her into orbit two months after its release when it yielded four singles that peaked at number 1 on the Billboard charts.

Likely she will reprise some of her biggest hits when she performs next year. Promoters of the event said her set list for the festival is expected to be an “exciting mix of her biggest fan-favorite pop and dance hits, r&b ballads, and hip-hop jams, along with popular selections from her critically acclaimed CD, “ Me. I am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse.”

“Patrons can expect a fantastic show for 2015,” Elmore said.

Last year’s headliners included Toni Braxton, Chaka Khan, The O’Jays, Aaron Neville, Crystal Gayle and Chrisette Michelle.

Local acts grouped Jamaican hit-makers Beenie Man, Chalice, Marcia Griffiths, Chronixx, Beres Hammond, Protoje, Nadine Sutherland and Bob Andy.

Although no additional acts have been announced Elmore stated that negotiations are continuing to add the best lineup of current and vintage artists.

Formerly known as the Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues festival, some of the biggest acts to perform in past years include: Diana Ross, Celine Dion, Smokey Robinson, Air Supply, Robin Thicke, Patti LaBelle, Earth, Wind & Fire, Dione Warwick, Mary J. Blige, Gladys Knight, Julio Iglesia, John Legend, Natalie Cole, Harry Belafonte, Lionel Richie, George Benson, Alicia Keys, The Whispers, Michael Bolton, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Kenny Rogers and Erykah Badu.

“We have more acts to announce in the coming weeks that will certainly delight our audiences,” Elmore added.

Catch You On The Inside!

More from Around NYC